Divorce is a stressful period, and like most trying times, it has the potential to bring out either the best or worst in people. The struggle for control over the terms of the divorce between spouses can result in many unforeseen complications. Some people even find that their spouses attempt to collect inheritances that were intended just for the recipient. If a person has failed to keep these assets adequately separated from marital assets, the financial implications can be devastating.
Some couples even discover that inheritances received during a marriage end up one of the most contentious points of their divorce. This can, in turn, result in costly litigation with uncertain results. If you have received an inheritance and would like to make sure that your former spouse does not collect on this amount, there are some important pieces of advice that you should remember to follow during a divorce. This article reviews just some of the most helpful of these strategies.
Keep the Funds Separate
Remember to keep funds separate in an account that only has your name listed on it. Avoid placing these funds in any shared bank or other type of financial account. It is often not enough, however, to just keep these funds in a separate account. You must also avoid placing any marital assets into this separate account or using funds from the separate account to purchase property that is owned by both you and your spouse. This will likely be viewed as commingling assets and will make it much more difficult to later keep the assets separate.
Pay Inheritance Related Costs with Separate Funds
Any inherited property should include documentation showing that the asset is only owed in your name. It is critical to review each piece of paperwork that is associated with this property to avoid creating any type of record that the asset is owned by both you and your spouse.
Consider Creating a Separate Trust
Some spouses who want to make sure that an inheritance remains only their property goes so far as to create a trust to hold the inheritance. Assets that are placed in this trust then pass after your death following your designated list of beneficiaries. Even though it can be costly to establish a trust, this option can be ideal if an inheritance is particularly large.
Enter into a Prenuptial Agreement
Like other aspects of divorce planning, a dose of caution can go a long way. While some people view prenuptial agreements as an unromantic way of entering into a marital bond, other people realize that these agreements are the best way to protect yourself from losing assets in case things do not work out. If you anticipate receiving a substantial inheritance at any point in the future and are not yet married, consider speaking with a knowledgeable family law attorney and creating a prenuptial agreement that addresses the inheritance.
Contact a Seasoned Divorce Attorney
The division of assets during a divorce is full of challenges. Remember that no situations are the same. To make sure that you keep what is rightfully yours during and after a divorce, consider retaining the assistance of an experienced family law attorney. Contact Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C. today.